Meth bust raises concerns in Perry County community

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

SLEMP, Ky. (WYMT) - A man is behind bars after police make the first meth bust of the year in Perry County.

Yet, meth wasn't the only thing found at the home; officers were concerned when they found a child inside as well.

A Homeowner on Owens Branch in Perry County says she is more than happy to see police cracking down on the community's drug problem.

She asked WYMT to keep her identity concealed, “It's been really, really bad so we weren't surprised, but we were very glad that something finally happened.”

James D. Richie was arrested Saturday morning after police found a hidden meth lab and other meth-making products at his home.

“As we were going to the shed, we noticed on top of the shed that there was a back pack, and when we got it down it had the precursors of manufacturing meth,” said Jerry Burns with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.

Ritchie is now in jail on meth charges. A child was also inside the home at the time and is now in the custody of his grandmother.

Community members say the drug problem has been going on for a long time. They were so worried for the safety of their children that they created a neighborhood watch

“There are so many predators that these people draw in here on a daily basis. Our children can't play outside without people saying vulgar things to them,” said the local home owner.

“It's time we do something. We have to take our community back. It needs to be the way it was when we were children,” she added.

Homeowners say they hope police find the many others doing the same as Ritchie throughout the area.

Officers are still searching for a man who is believed to be connected to Ritchie.

They are asking anyone with information on James Collins in the Slemp area of Perry County to call police.

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